Texas police officer fired after fatally shooting boy, 15
- Author: Larry Hoffman May 04, 2017,
May 04, 2017, 21:09
After a quick investigation, the Balch Springs, Texas police chief has fired the officer who triggered the deadly rifle shot, ultimately murdering the black teenager, NPR reports. Edwards's 16-year-old brother was at the wheel, and Oliver opened fire as the vehicle drove away.
Late on Tuesday evening, the family of Jordan Edwards released a statement praising the firing of the officer who fatally shot their son but noting the long road to justice for Edwards that lies ahead. The department has concluded its internal investigation, but an independent probe by the Dallas County Sheriff's Department and the Dallas County District Attorney's Office continues.
Oliver and the other police who arrived on the scene were responding to reports that a party last weekend was getting out of hand and had arrived to look into reports of underage drinking.
Balch Springs police spokesman Pedro Gonzalez said the terminated officer was the second officer on the scene. The full text of the family's press statement is included below.
Lee Merritt, lawyer for Jordan's family, demanded the officer's arrest on Monday.
Edwards was in the front seat of the vehicle, driven by his 16-year-old brother, when shots from a police officer's rifle pierced the front side passenger window.
The statement also talks about the trauma the other four boys who were in the auto experienced as the result of both the shooting and their subsequent interactions with the police. "The bond that he shared with his family, particularly his siblings, was indescribable", it said.
They also feel officer painted his name, and those of his brothers, in a negative light when announcing the initial incorrect information about what happened the night Edwards died. Officers yelled for the driver to stop, but he didn't.
Oliver was initially removed from duty and placed on leave.
The Texas Legislative Black Caucus issued a statement saying no one "in retreat who has not been accused of a crime should be shot with a rifle". "Our family is working hard to deal with both the loss of our beloved Jordan and the lingering trauma it has caused our boys".
"We are declaring [a] war on bad policing". They are calling for the other police officers involved - who they say treated Jordan's brothers and two friends like "common criminals" as he lay dying - to be reprimanded as well.
"Once again our nation has been gripped with the death of an unarmed African-American teenager after what seemingly appeared to be the aggressive tactics of a law enforcement official".
"I'm concerned about how that's going to weigh on his older brother because he had been tugging at his older brother about going to this party, and ultimately it resulted in his death", Crockett said. For more than a year the police said officers shot McDonald after he lunged at them at close range with a knife.